For those who find making appearances in fancy dress costumes a bit of an embarrassing ordeal in the first place, it can be very tricky to settle on an outfit which won't make you feel like a bit of a prat in the first place. But just imagine if you accidentally really overstepped the mark and opted for fancy dress costumes which weren't just silly, but were actually offensive.
It can be very easy to get carried away with fancy dress costumes and even the most politically correct, sensible human beings can take things too far. In this article we'll be looking at some prime examples of fancy dress costumes which have gone too far to help you avoid this mortifying pitfall.
As with all of these offensive fancy dress costumes, it should really need to be said that dressing up as a Nazi is really not appropriate in any fancy dress context. And yet, time and again, people make this error. From Prince Harry to Max Mosely (although, granted, Mosely was not attending any sort of conventional party at the time) public figures have caused huge offense in fully Nazi regalia.
After Prince Harry was pictured in this Nazi get-up at an already questionably themed "Colonials and Natives" party back in 2005, there was justified international outcry. The moral of this story? Don't do it. Never do it. If you think you might do it, go lie down in a dark room and think long and hard about what on earth is wrong with you.
Nazi uniform costumes are considered so inappropriate that the UK's largest provider of fancy dress costumes, Smiffy's, flat out refuse to manufacture any Second World War German costumes. According to Smiffy's chairman Ray Peckett "Wearing a Nazi uniform is exceptionally offensive." Lesson learned.
Mohammed / Allah
Remember all the kerfuffle over those Danish cartoons which depicted the great Islamic prophet Mohammed? Well, in Islam, depictions of the prophet and of Allah are strictly forbidden and are highly offensive indeed. Any 'out there' costume party attendee who believes that dressing as the prophet or as Allah would be any kind of amusing statement is sorely mistaken. It shows a profound level of disrespect for other cultures and is an absolute no-go. Don't do it, you idiot!
Genitalia in general
Yes, yes OK, genitals are hilarious, we get it. But if you decide to dress up as a penis, chances are everyone is going to think you actually are one. This isn't even nearly in the same league as the first two costumes we've listed but it is a much more common mistake which is only going to make you look (and seem) like a total phallus.